April 12th 2016 was the final day
Microsoft SQL Server 2005
was supported for security updates. From the 13th onwards, any vulnerabilities discovered in SQL Server 2005 are there to stay, leaving your SAP databases at risk if you continue to use this older version. SQL Server 2005 joins
Windows Server 2003
, Windows Server 2003 R2 and
, and companies still using these products are at severe risk of malware and ransomware infection, and potentially losing SAP system data
A SAP system's SQL Server installation can be upgraded in-place, provided that SAP's recommended procedures are followed. If you're still running an even older version of SQL Server, there will be intermediary steps - SQL Server 7.0 must be upgraded to SQL Server 2000 , SQL Server 2000 must be upgraded to SQL Server 2005 , SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 R2 , and then you can upgrade to SQL Server 2014. Assuming you're using SQL Server 2005, you can perform the upgrade in one hit, going straight from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2014.
The prerequisites for SQL Server 2014 include using Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2, ensuring your NetWeaver release is at least 7.0, installing version 3.5 SP1 of the .NET Framework, ensuring NTFS compression is disabled, and patching your SQL Server 2005 installation to the final build, which is 9.00.5324 . If you haven't yet installed SQL Server 2005 SP4, you'll have to install that before installing the final build. You should also upgrade your SAP kernel to the most recent release, and you will need to import support packages to bring you up to a level supported by SQL Server 2014 before you begin the upgrade. For NetWeaver 7.0, this is Support Package Stack (SPS) 29, or SPS 30 for a SAP BW system, and NetWeaver 7.4 requires SPS 04, or SPS 06 for a SAP BW system. SPS levels required for other NetWeaver releases are detailed in SAP Note 1966681 . You should apply these support packages using Maintenance Optimizer in Solution Manager and the SAP Software Update Manager.
Once you've installed SQL Server 2014, it's important to install the latest Service Pack and then the latest Cumulative Update. Recently, these Cumulative Updates began to appear on Windows Update, but it's still good practice to install them as soon as they become available. After you've installed these, you can start up your SAP system again and you're ready to go. With sufficient planning and trialling the installation on a copy of your SAP system, it should be possible to keep the downtime window short.
If you're stuck on a very old version of SQL Server and/or Windows Server, or if the process just all seems a little daunting, not to worry - Weaveability can perform these upgrades for you. Drop us a line and we can discuss your options - from in place upgrades right through to a migration to our managed SAP hosting service.